Elite Meat in Starbeck, Harrogate, bagged a brace of gold awards in the 2015 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards, the annual product evaluation event open to the Guild’s 110 members nationwide.
The High Street shop struck gold with its Spanish Sausage, and Porkchetta in the ready to eat meats category.
All pork products used by Elite Meat come from outdoor reared pigs from Easingwold and owner Gordon Atkinson says he gained inspiration for his gold award winners from fellow Q Guild butchers – Wilsons in Crossgates, Leeds, for the Spanish Sausage and Lidgates Butchers in London for the Porkchetta.
Owton’s Butchers in Southampton is the 2015 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards supreme champion – the highest honour a Q Butcher can achieve – with its Dry Cured Green Streaky Bacon, which had earlier picked up a coveted diamond award as the best product in the bacon and cured products category. Marked a perfect 100 out of 100, it was also chosen as Best English Bacon product.
The Smithfield Awards, the 29th year they have been staged, were open to all Q Guild members UK-wide and this year attracted a record entry of 472 individual products across nine categories from 56 Q butchers – more than half the national membership – were submitted this year.
All were judged by independent panels of food and meat industry experts. The measure of quality was indicated when nine products received top-rated diamond awards, 221 products clinched gold – representing 51% of the total entry – while 113 silver and 72 bronze awards were also handed out.
Trophies and certificates were presented by Monica Galetti, one of the best-known female chefs in London and presenter and judge on BBC2’s MasterChef: The Professionals, at a ceremony at Ironmongers Hall, London. (Thursday, 19 Nov 2015)
Q Guild national chairman, Alnwick butcher Mark Turnbull, said:
The Smithfield Awards remain one of the most demanding and stringent product evaluation tests in the land and the esteem in which they are held is clearly demonstrated by the fact that this year has seen record entries from a record number of businesses.
All products need to be at the very top of their game to stand a chance of success and nothing says ‘we’re the best’ like winning a Smithfield Award. They remain among the meat industry’s most esteemed accolades, not only motivating recipients to introduce even more successful products, but also providing ideas and inspiration to fellow Q Guild members across the nation.
Gordon from Elite Meat said:
I am thrilled to achieve these awards for our sausage and porkchetta, its great to be able to share ideas with other butchers the length of the country.
I would like to say a big thank you to the farmers who produce our wonderful meat, my hard working staff and of course my loyal customers without whom we would not be here.
The 2015 Smithfield Awards were sponsored by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which supports the English beef, lamb and pig meat sectors, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, The Scobie & Junor Group, Comark A Fluke Co, Hawk Systems, MRC and Innovative Food Ingredients